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Gourmet Coffee Stops Decrease Gas Mileage;Home Brewed Premium Coffee Reduce Traffic Congestion

A researcher has stirred up the commuter coffee mug with
the suggestion that morning rush hour traffic is worsened
by stops for daily morning gourmet coffee at Starbucks and
other premium coffee houses. Nancy McGuckin, a travel
behavior analyst, studied a report called “National
Household Travel Survey” by the U.S. Department of
Transportation as the basis for her provocative
conclusions.

It has long been known that frequent starting and stopping
during a commute drastically reduces fuel economy due to
the need to rev up the car engine to accelerate to traffic
speeds and then stop for traffic lights and accelerate once
again. This is the reason why manufacturers estimaged
“city” mileage is always significantly lower than the
estimated “highway” mileage. In addition, if the engine is
turned off and restarted, mileage is decreased
significantly, because it is at startup of the car engine
that the most fuel is wasted.

This behavior is exactly what is required when visiting
congested shopping areas on the way to work, find a parking
space, (where gourmet coffee shops are often located) stop
the engine, return to the car with coffee in hand, restart
the engine and make your way back to the highway and
finally to work.

McGuckin, the travel analyst, dubbed her discovery, “The
Starbucks Effect” because during the period she studied,
Starbucks added over 4000 new locations (1995 – 2001).
Although not limiting this research finding only to trips
to coffee houses, the research suggests that running
additional errands in the morning on the way to work has
contributed to traffic congestion and increased gridlock.
This is because people divert from the shortest and fastest
route, to one that leads them past the coffee house or dry
cleaners.

The shorter route between home and business office would be
much more direct and require fewer bursts of acceleration,
engine starts and stops and less frequent visits to crowded
shopping areas, which require commuters to search for
parking, with trips around the block to find spaces or
idling the engine waiting for others to leave spaces nearer
the coffee house.

Burning small amounts of extra fuel during those waits over
and over each day adds up to very significant wasted fuel
and lowered mileage over time. Wear and tear on engines
increases as this behavior continues, and becomes habitual.

The cost of gourmet coffee at premium coffee houses is also
as much as six or seven times the cost of home brewed
coffee from premium fresh ground whole bean blends. Coffee
houses have either a “house blend” or “featured” blend on
brew and you get whatever they have chosen for you. Then
your only choice is to elbow your way through the crowds
and merge back into the city gridlock to get to work,
further slowing traffic and decreasing gas mileage.

A Washington Post article by Catherine Shaver, discusses
the commuter study and quotes Alan E. Pisarsky, Author of
“Commuting in America” as saying, “It’s more of a problem
from a traffic point of view than from anything else.”

Increasing the number of stops in the trip decreases gas
mileage and stress levels, while brewing coffee at home can
really save you gas over a relatively small period of
time. Taking fresh brewed coffee from home could really
reduce stress and wear and tear on the car. When brewing
your own gourmet coffee blend at home, you have a choice of
fresh ground coffee beans from fine Italian Espressos to
the rare and exotic Indonesian Kopi Luwak.

Commuters can consider making gourmet coffee drinks at home
before departing for work and delight in it at home while
spending quality time with the family or take it along in a
commuter coffee travel mug. You’ll save money by paying
less than .30 cents per cup for your favorite gourmet
coffee made from fresh ground beans, as well as help to
reduce gridlock and increase mileage by taking the fastest
route to work instead of detouring to the coffee shop.

Copyright © 2005 TastesOfTheWorld.net

Written by Mike Banks Valentine for Tastes of The World
coffee company. Focusing on specialty gourmet coffees which
are not readily available in the United States. Rare
Gourmet Coffee is their business so they make shopping with
them risk free. TastesOfTheWorld.net TastesOfTheWorld.net



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